Daniel Christopher King, age 64, received his final call, from his Savior, on Tuesday, July 23 at home in East Bernard following a long battle with cancer.
Chris, as he preferred to be called, was born January 23, 1955, in Sealy. He was the son of Racy F. King of Elkhart and Margaret Farkas King, of Orchard, being one of seven children.
In his earliest years Chris was raised in Orchard. In August 1963 his family moved to Wallis where Chris attended Guardian Angel Catholic School for eight years and Wallis High School afterward. He graduated in 1973, having participated in Wallis Steers football, varsity golf, and the Debate Team.
Chris attended Wharton County Junior College, and later enrolled at The University of Texas in Austin. He worked weekends and summers for King Construction Company, the family business owned by his father and brothers, Dennis and James King. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business in December 1977. He returned to work at King Construction, acquiring road construction knowledge and heavy equipment skills that served him well in his future positions. He also farmed rice with Frank Smaistrla for a few years.
Chris was elected Wharton County Commissioner Precinct 2 in November 1991. He was extremely proud of his 28 plus years career as an elected public official, having just begun his eighth term in January 2019. During his tenure with the county, he was instrumental in establishing a new transfer station and recycling program for the precinct; in the resolution and subsequent renovation of the historic Wharton County Courthouse; in preventing the Trans-Texas Corridor from becoming a reality; and in the development of the new community park in East Bernard. He stood ever ready as Wharton County’s public servant responding to innumerable county emergencies, including the most recent Hurricane Harvey catastrophic flooding in 2017.
Chris was an active parishioner of Holy Cross Catholic Church, serving as a CCD teacher, a Lector, and choir member. He was a member and past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus Council #2500; serving as District Deputy No. 111 in 1994-95. He was a Charter Member of the new Fourth Degree Assembly No. 3592. He was a member of the KJT St. Wenceslaus Society No. 40; an Executive Director of the Wharton County Youth Fair and Exposition; a Little League baseball coach for years, and had served as assistant Scout Master of the local Boy Scouts of America Troop No. 785.
Chris was preceded in death by his parents Racy and Margaret Farkas King; sister Carole Jo King Nowak; infant brothers Joseph Lee King and Gregory Stephen King; nephew Bruno Nowak, Jr.; and nephew Douglas King, the Austin County Commissioner he had mentored.
Chris is survived by his loving spouse and caregiver, Debbie Guthman; son Ryan King and wife Katie; daughter Leslie King Quinnell and husband Eric; son Matthew King and wife Kesten; brothers Dennis King and wife Carolyn; James King; Karl King and wife Tynia; brother-in-law Bruno Nowak; grandchildren Michael and Alex King; Logan, Emily and Lucy Quinnell; Warren, Harrison, and Nolan King; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation was held Friday, July 26, followed by the Wake Service and Rosary. Father Charles Otsiwah, Pastor, celebrated the Funeral Mass Saturday, July 27 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in East Bernard. Burial Service followed at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in East Bernard. The Texas flag ceremony was conducted by Boy Scout Troop No. 785 Committee Chairman Melissa Locke with flag bearers Sam Sims and Dante’ Hancock.
Pallbearers were Ryan King, Matthew King, Eric Quinnell, Matthew Petrosky, Brent Mica, and Jesse Pitman.
Honorary Pallbearers were Brian King, Douglas King (posthumous), Patrick King, Douglas Staff, and employees of Wharton County Precinct 2: Gene Hundl, Chris Jalowy, Cody Kettler, Charlie Kieler, Danny Koehne, Randy Kresta, Steve Longoria, Tommy Mendez, Susan Prazak, Chad Witzoski, and Al Bryant. Funeral services were provided by Knesek Family Funeral Chapel of Wallis.
Chris loved serving his community. In keeping with his spirit of service, memorials may be sent to the East Bernard Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 1150, East Bernard, Texas 77435.